Simon Grayson remains confident that he can turn Sunderland’s season around despite the Black Cats falling into the bottom three on Saturday.
The Black Cats travel to Portman Road tonight in need of a positive result against Mick McCarthy’s Ipswich Town.
He said: “I know I keep harking back to it but we were in a similar position this time last year at Preston before going on a good run. Early on in my career at Blackpool we were in a similar position and ended that season getting promoted.
“37 games to go, what’s that, 111 points to play for, nothing is lost in September. The table isn’t good for us right now but there’s a long way to go.”
Grayson has paid tribute to McCarthy and says he can take inspiration from his struggles last season.
He said: “He’s a good friend of mine is Mick, someone I speak to on a regular basis. He’s a character in the game, last year he was under a lot of pressure down there and he was just so dismissive of it, that he knew what he was doing, that people shouldn’t be getting to down.
They go then and win most of their games at the start of the season and he’s not shouting from the rooftops, not they’ve lost some he won’t be too pessimistic. That’s his experience, I like to compare myself to him a little bit in that we’ve both been doing this job a long time and we know what we’re doing,” he added.
“Like a Neil Warnock team, they’ll be organised and hard-working. They’ll go for the second balls, they’ll get it up to Joe Garner who I know well from my Preston days.
“I watched the game on Saturday, they played very well against Leeds and were unfortunate to lose.
“A couple of mistakes and that’s the difference, which is what tends to happen when you’re out of form.”